FPGA-Based Design Optimization in Autonomous Robot Systems for Inspection of Civil Infrastructure
Recently, Lins et al. have developed an autonomous robot system for inspection of defects in civil infrastructure. The proposed autonomous system is a unique design because it is comprised of commercial off-the-shelf products that integrate into one fully automated system. The design can be easily deployed to different environments, such as nuclear power plants and bridges, while also being less expensive to create andmaintain. However, a crucial point to be improved is the system performance, which is related to the lowimage processing frequency that largely increases the time needed to autonomously inspect a real structure. A new embedded and more efficient crack detection and crack measurement apparatus based on a field-programmable gate array was developed to optimize the on-board image processing. Thereby, the hardware architecture, software design, and database schematic were redesigned in order to update the autonomous robot system for inspection. Finally, some discussion and data are provided to validate the technical feasibility of the proposed optimization.
Autonomous systems, embedded systems, fieldprogrammable gate array (FPGA), machine vision, robotics and automation.